Morning Press: Fatal fire victim remembered; restaurants at the casino; landslides

By Amy Libby, Columbian staff writer

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In case you missed them, here are some of the top stories of the week:

Victim of fatal fire remembered for social activism, warmth, humor

Brian Willoughby, a former Columbian social-issues reporter who went on to champion compassionate causes such as children’s mental health, housing for the homeless, diversity and civil rights, died in a house fire on Tuesday evening. He was 56 years old and is survived by two children, Clara and Jay.

Willoughby frequently described his latest job as the best gig anybody could have: granting dollars to human-service projects as director of community benefit at Legacy Health. In recent weeks, he saw to it that $150,000 went to Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington for part-time mental health therapists at three of its clubhouses. Earlier this year, he helped launch Portland’s Unity Center for Behavioral Health, a dedicated mental health “emergency room” that’s an innovative partnership project among Legacy and other major local health care players.

Michael Jordan to open steakhouse at Ilani Casino Resort

Local foodies can soon dine like a basketball star — Ilani Casino Resort announced Monday plans for Michael Jordan’s Steak House to set up shop inside the casino, along with the Pacific Northwest-inspired seafood restaurant called Line & Lure Seafood Kitchen and Tap.

Promising a fine-dining experience with a “down-to-earth” approach, Michael Jordan’s Steak House features prime, dry-aged steaks, “upscale comfort food” and local seasonal dishes as well as craft ales, cocktails and a large wine selection. The restaurant’s location at the La Center junction with Interstate 5 will seat up to 306 people — including a table that’s reserved for the six-time National Basketball Association champion.

And he’s expected to drop in at some point.

Salmon Creek neighbors losing land to slides

Sarah Athay was washing dishes and gazing out the window when her neighbor’s yard ripped from the hillside and fell into Salmon Creek about 100 feet below.

“There was this ‘whomp,’ and the trees went down, and all of a sudden I had this gorgeous view,” she said.

Uptown Village neighbors frustrated with marijuana store patrons

If Mike Gilles were to knock back a bottle of Jack Daniel’s on the front porch of a stranger’s home, he wouldn’t be surprised if the cops were called.

“I could or should expect to experience consequences,” Gilles said. “Those are the cultural norms.”

But people smoke marijuana on the front porch of his Vancouver townhouse, which is across the street from Main Street Marijuana. They light up in his backyard, too, which is technically a park. Around here, neighbors say, be warned before opening the windows to enjoy the spring air.

Suspect in Vancouver double homicide arrested in Portland

Police officers and U.S. Marshals have arrested a man suspected of killing two in east Vancouver March 19.

The Vancouver Police Department said agents with the Marshals Service and Portland Police Bureau officers located and arrested Arkangel D. Howard, 31, in Portland Thursday.